Valley needs water filtration, CVRD hears

Filtration deferral has saved district millions

  • Feb. 5, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Filtration is needed for the Comox Valley’s water system, medical health officer Charmaine Enns told the CVRD water committee in a Tuesday presentation about turbidity and the recent boil water advisory.

The Dec. 11 to Jan. 27 advisory was preceded by another that ran from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5. In her 12 years serving the North Island, Enns said four water advisories have been issued. The first two were shorter in duration.

“There was something uniquely different in December,” she said. “That was a sustained, elevated turbidity.”

Turbidity, or murkiness, refers to fine suspended particles picked up by water as it passes through streams and rivers in a watershed. Turbidity levels did not drop as rapidly as usual after a storm system hammered the Valley. The safety level is 1 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units).

During the advisory, officials noted the lack of a filtration system. Island Health had granted the district ‘filtration deferral.’ But as time went by, Enns said it became evident the deferral needed to be rescinded.

“We want to be fair, but have to balance with public health. Technically, you didn’t meet it (drinking water standards policy),” she said.

Area C director Edwin Grieve said directors invested years of hard work to save millions of dollars through filtration deferral.

Officials estimate a filtration system would cost $50 — $70 million.

Comox director Ken Grant, noting an impending “large bill,” questioned if the district is over-testing its water quality.

He notes too that restaurateurs and others in the tourism sector took a hit during the boil water advisory.

Manager of engineering services Marc Rutten said data from water sampling shows turbidity in Comox Lake is not organic. Enns noted that turbidity was consistent in all levels of the lake.

The CVRD will apply to a gas tax fund for the design and installation of a water filtration plant, as approved by the committee. A consultant will analyze Comox Lake source water quality in order to recommend the final treatment option for the Valley’s water system.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Land & Sea Brewing Company opens its doors in Comox

Managing director says the brewery will be a compliment to the Valley’s craft beer scene

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Most Read